Rotunda at dusk

UVA Democracy Biennial: Crises, Opportunities, Freedoms

Date & Time

September 24 - 25, 2021 @ see schedule for times




The 2021 UVA Democracy Biennial consists of three free event. Register now to secure your link to attend each event online.

Friday, September 24
3:00–4:30 PM

Roundtable: “Democracy and capitalism”

An interactive, dynamic discussion exploring themes such as inequality, mobility and opportunity, urban revitalization, the future of work, globalization, and American democracy.


  • Tom Baltimore, chairman and CEO, Park Hotels and Resorts
  • Gerald Chertavian, CEO, Year Up
  • Deborah Feinen, mayor, Champaign, Illinois
  • R. Edward Freeman, University Professor and Olsson Professor of Business Administration, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
  • Robert Hugin, former CEO and chairman, Celgene
  • Carolyn Miles, former president and CEO, Save the Children
  • Rami Nashashibi, executive director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network
  • Tom Perez, former secretary of labor (President Obama)
  • Denver Riggleman, former U.S. congressman (R-VA)
  • Rodney Slater, former secretary of transportation (President Clinton)
  • Nancy Twine, founder and CEO, Briogeo Hair Care
  • Robert F. Bruner, faculty senior fellow, Miller Center; dean emeritus, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia (moderator)


Saturday, September 25
1:00–2:45 PM

Mobility, equity, and the pursuit of the American dream

How far have we come and how far do we have to go for everyone to have a real shot at the American dream? Join high-level speakers from different sectors and perspectives for a series of conversations around the problems of inequity.


  • Rashad Robinson, president, Color of Change
  • Karin Lips, founder and president, Network of Enlightened Women
  • Robert Doar, president and Morgridge scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Ai-jen Poo, executive director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • David Rubenstein, cofounder and co-chairman, Carlyle Group
  • Margaret Spellings, president & CEO, Texas 2036; George W. Bush secretary of education
  • Melody Barnes, director, UVA’s Karsh Institute of Democracy; co-director, UVA Democracy Initiative; J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance, Miller Center (moderator)


3:15–4:30 PM

Reform? Reform! A town hall on the future of American democracy

A critical look at the American system of governance: Is the Electoral College democratic? Is the American presidency too powerful? How can we restore faith in American norms and institutions? 


  • Angela Glover Blackwell, founder in residence at PolicyLink
  • Mary Kate Cary, former speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush and Miller Center senior fellow
  • Julián Castro, former Obama secretary of housing and urban development
  • Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University
  • John Dickerson, CBS News (moderator)


Program Host

This program is hosted by The Miller Center in partnership with UVA Lifetime Learning.

Lifetime Learning is a program in the Office of Engagement. You can follow us on FacebookTwitter, the Thoughts From the Lawn blog, or subscribe to our email list and we will send you notifications about upcoming Lifetime Learning events, information, and offerings.


This event is part of the More Than the Score UVA faculty-led lecture series. Find more talks like this one at More Than the Score.

Media Inquires

The University of Virginia’s Lifetime Learning Program in the Office of Engagement offers faculty-led talks, extended learning seminars, and online resources to all alumni, parents, and friends.

We look forward to answering your questions and introducing the media to speakers when appropriate.

When referencing our programs, please state, This program is presented by UVA’s Lifetime Learning Program in the Office of Engagement. Visit the UVA Lifetime Learning website for upcoming events and to learn more about us.”

Media inquires should be directed to:

Althea Brooks
Senior Director
UVA Lifetime Learning
Office of Engagement
434-249-4348 (Cell)